God First Loved Us, Part 1
1 John 4:7-21
In his Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem writes, “God’s love means that God eternally gives of himself to others. This definition understands love as self-giving for the benefit of others. This attribute of God shows that it is part of his nature to give of himself in order to bring about blessing or good for others.” As we begin a study on salvation, it’s vital to understand the source of our salvation at the very beginning. While we are the recipients of God’s love, his love has everything to do with who God is in his essence, and not who we are or anything we have done.
1. When you read or hear about God’s love, what images or ideas usually come to your mind? What are some different ideas that unbelievers and nominal believers have about the love of God? Give some examples.
2. Read 1 John 4:7-21 and write down everything John says about God’s love. What do you think John’s key idea is in this text?
3. According to verses 7, 8, and 16, what is the ultimate source of love?
4. A loving God is unique to Christianity because love by its nature is focused on and given to another. Only a God who has existed eternally and relationally in three Persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – is able to express love since love focuses on another. Read the following verses and write down what each teaches about love expressed in the holy Trinity*.
• Mark 1:10-11 –
• John 17:24 –
• John 3:35 –
• John 14:31 –
• John 5:20 –
• John 10:17 –
• Colossians 1:13 –
* “The love between the Father and Son also presumably characterizes their relationship with the Holy Spirit, even though it is not explicitly mentioned.” (Grudem) Some theologians have taught that the love between the Father and the Son is the Holy Spirit.
God is in the business of changing people's hearts and bringing them from death to life. This booklet is primarily about the eternal life God offers us in and through the Person and Work of his Son, Jesus Christ.
In these pages are five different presentations, each focusing upon the most important message a person can hear about in this life.
It is my prayer that God will use these messages to bring glory to himself and draw you into the abundant and eternal life he offers through Christ.
This booklet can be used as an evangelistic tract as well as a tool for one-on-one discipleship. It would also be helpful for equipping a class or small group in both evangelism and discipleship.
If you would like to learn more about this booklet or purchase it, please click here to order it from Lulu.com.
You’ve heard the questions… maybe even asked the questions. At the very least you’ve thought about them…
Below is a helpful bibliography to serve you in addressing these topics. To be sure, such questions require more thought and time than is usually offered on a television talk show. Perhaps a few of the books below will inform you for your own edification as well as equip you to share what you learn with others.